For my Sunday peak, I decided on summiting Sunshine Mountain on an overcast day. My friend Mark Better was able to tag along for this adventure. The trailhead is near the new shared Three Sisters/Eagle Peak one, instead, you continue down the dirt road to the north of that entrance. There you will find a small turnout to park at.
You will follow the trail past a seasonal pond, the drift toward the east. The summit is clearly in view. This is not a well-traveled trail, so it is very overgrown. You will reach a fork in the trail, take the left one. It is almost completely hidden. You can faintly see the outline of tire tracks from years ago to guide you to the base of the peak.
Once at the base of Sunshine Mountain, you will need to bushwhack your way toward the southeastern shoulder of the mountain and begin an easy scramble to the summit.
The sun would peek out from behind the cloud, offering some nice contrast to the peaks around us. We signed the register and enjoyed the views. To the south, we could see Eagle Peak, perched on the edge of the San Diego River Valley, which I had done just a week before. Off to the east, Cuyamaca Peak was shrouded in clouds the whole day.
As we made our way down, we hunted for that faint trail again.
We could see the car parked off the distance and did consider just bushwhacking directly back to it. But we a little more sleuthing, we found the trail and made our return trip less eventful.
I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest.
One thought on “Sunshine Mountain”